Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education recently announced the launch of Ignite My Future in School. This multi-million dollar initiative leverages computational thinking and new teaching resources as a catalyst to transform the way K-12 students learn across America. Ignite My Future in School has a goal of engaging 20,000 teachers and one million U.S. students by 2021. As a first step towards this goal, TCS and Discovery Education also announced that 10 U.S. school systems joined the effort as early adopters of this transdisciplinary approach. In addition, TCS and Discovery Education have launched an online program, TECHademy, which will engage teachers nationwide in an exclusive, cost-free, virtual professional development experience that includes curriculum resources, eLearning courses, webinars, and more. These resources are aligned to national standards, as well as the recently launched K-12 Computer Science Framework. "As an industry leader, Tata Consultancy Services has a fundamental responsibility to prepare the next generation of U.S. students with computational thinking and digital fluency that are critical to succeed in their future careers across all sectors," said Surya Kant, president of TCS North America, U.K. and Europe.

College Students Tackle Global Water, Waste Crises

Eight best-in-class student teams from around the world presented how they are using entrepreneurial action and business innovation to tackle the global water and waste crises in the World Water Race and the 1 Race 2 End Waste. In the Water Race, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business from India won for their Project Raahat, which aims to eradicate open defecation in urban Delhi. The project focuses on access to safe and sanitary public toilets and changing the social stigma of using them. They competed against Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Campus Sur, University of Regensburg from Germany and Memorial University of Newfoundland from Canada. Both competitions took place at the 2017 Enactus World Cup, held at the London ExCel Convention Centre. Held annually, the event is the world's largest entrepreneurial competition for social impact. University and college students from 36 countries compete for the Enactus World Cup, in the 1 Race 2 End Waste and the World Water Race by presenting their community empowerment initiatives on stage in front of an executive panel of judges and audience of 3,500 student, academic and business leaders.

Student Org. Seeks to Implement Solar Panels

With the end goal of expanding renewable energy efforts, two University of Wisconsin students are looking to implement solar panels across campus. UW juniors Zach Galvin and Sahil Verma created Helios, a student organization that focuses on creating renewable energy in an affordable way. By effectively persuading “the right people,” Verma believes they can show that funding solar panels are monetarily beneficial, according to a Badger Herald report. “They would bring the school revenue in the long term through credits and subsidies for using renewable energies and make Madison a leader in creating sustainable campuses throughout the country,” Verma said in the report. In the future, Verma said they would like to expand their renewable energy efforts to beyond the implementation of solar panels.

smarTours Ends Elephant Rides in India

smarTours and PETA announced that the New York–based tour operator would end elephant rides during its tours of India. Elephant rides at Amber Fort in Jaipur had been part of smarTours’ India itineraries since the late 1990s. Rides will end effective immediately for the 18 scheduled India tours in 2017 and 2018. PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, has been a long-time advocate of protecting elephants around the world. This summer, PETA India received reports from concerned tourists who had witnessed elephant abuse at Amber Fort. “One of the goals at smarTours is to make a positive impact on the destinations we visit all over the world, and over time with the help of PETA, we have learned of the cruelty imposed on all elephants who are used for rides,” said smarTours co-CEO Greg Geronemus. “It has become clear that these rides are simply wrong and inconsistent with smarTours’ values.” Adds smarTours co-CEO David Rosner, “Removing elephant rides from the tours is simply the right thing to do. We are truly grateful for PETA’s help in making us aware of what was actually going on behind the scenes with these wonderful animals.”

QuanticMind Secures $20M in Funding

QuanticMind, a data platform for intelligent marketing, announced that it is raising a $20M Series B funding round led by veteran venture firm Foundation Capital. QuanticMind will use the funding for strategic growth investments in both hiring and in product development. Specifically, the company will accelerate the artificial intelligence, predictive advertising, data science and machine learning capabilities of its data platform to conquer the increasingly complex challenges marketers face across digital’s constantly evolving channels. “This incredible milestone marks the next phase in QuanticMind’s continuing journey to help marketers step into the future, where their considerable talents are amplified by intelligent data science algorithms and machine learning-based automation,” said co-founder and CEO Chaitanya Chandrasekar. "At QuanticMind, we believe the ingenuity of the world's most brilliant marketers becomes exponentially more powerful when they combine and leverage every single piece of relevant data available."

Edison Scholars Program Accepting Applications

High school seniors whose dream is to make a difference in the world by majoring in STEM are invited to apply for Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program. Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, is awarding $40,000 scholarships, paid over four years, to 30 high school students planning to major in STEM fields at four-year accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Scholarship applications are now being accepted through Dec. 1. Applicants must live in SCE’s service territory and plan to be a full-time undergraduate student majoring in a STEM field. “Our Edison Scholars Program invests in students with big dreams to help pay for their college studies in STEM,” said Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International. To apply and get additional eligibility information, visit www.edisonscholars.com.

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